Usually, he shows off his strength by hitting home runs. ", "I focus on the process rather than the results," Thames said. Former Denver Post national baseball writer. By now we all know the Eric Thames story. Total Zone Rating and initial framework for Wins above Replacement calculations provided by Sean Smith. Join our linker program.

If Choi follows this season up with a strong 2018, he could be a potential target for overseas teams in free agency. That stadium was packed and there wasn’t one person even thinking about sitting down while Thames was leading them. Thames is familiar with Na, having been teammates with him in the NC Dinos from 2014 to 2016. As of Aug. 7, Na was having a marvelous season — .376/.438/.636 (175.9 wRC+) with 18 home runs in 330 ABs. Korea's contributions to Major League Baseball have run the gamut in recent years. Eric Thames. He checks his KakaoTalk (a Korean messaging app) to communicate with his former NC Dinos teammates and front office members, and looks at social media to read comments from his Korean fans. — Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) October 17, 2017. He’s listed at 5-7 and weighs 185 pounds. He won MVP as a member of the KBO’s NC Dinos in 2015 after hitting 40 home runs, stealing 40 bases and winning the league batting title with a .381 average. All logos are the trademark & property of their owners and not Sports Reference LLC. Just like Kim, Son once made an appeal to MLB clubs (in 2015), but failed to garner a bid and stayed with the Lotte Giants. Eric Thames is a fun-loving, weight-lifting, beard-growing, truck-driving, yoga-practicing, Avengers-obsessed potpourri of a man. #KBO

— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) October 17, 2017. His name is Eric Thames, and Toronto fans might recall him as a platoon outfielder with the Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012. Even though Thames is back in the big leagues, though, it appears he hasn’t forgotten where his career was resurrected. What do you get when you combine a block party and a baseball league? — Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 17, 2017, .

Fully embrace the experience. I mean, literally the best players in the world are in (MLB). Yesterday's Brewers sausage race came with an even better backstory, Watch Wednesday's Brewers-Tigers game exclusively on YouTube. Positions: Outfielder and First Baseman Bats: Left • Throws: Right 5-11, 235lb (180cm, 106kg) . How much are top free agents truly worth? He apologized and subsequently did community service as a penance. “We recorded it and I had to wait probably like 25 days, so I couldn’t say anything. On the other hand, he’s finally fulfilling the big-league dreams that seemed out of reach before he went to Korea, contributing to a Brewers team battling for a playoff spot. "I'm wondering about how my new mindset could transfer over. 17,557th in MLB history) Seattle's Dae-Ho Lee flashed some power this season, with 14 home runs in 104 games. Wondering why Thames would go back to South Korea after leaving the country for the major leagues? "He's very aggressive at the plate and on the field, too, for that matter," the scout said. Interested major league teams aren't the only ones asking that question. Girls are crying and people are trying to touch him and get pictures. “I feel like if he got an enough amount of at-bats, he’d be a great player,” Thames said. Many thanks to him. The natural question is how his skills will translate to the majors. On Saturday, he returned to Korea to appear on "King of Mask Singer" -- the Korean version of "The Masked Singer." Can he catch up to 94-95 mph fastballs after feasting on 89-91 mph heaters in the KBO?

Clemson still on top Make Mondays better USC coach on Pac-12 's best, via SUBSCRIBE NOW When his contract is over, Kim will be 32 years old. •, Where to live in New York if you've just come into $324 million. That's not him. Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos.  •  Who does he think could be the next big KBO transplants?

“Preparing for that was definitely uncomfortable, to say the least,” Thames said. After the 2016 season, as a free agent, Hwang held an open showcase and signed a split contract with the Giants while rejecting lucrative offers from the KBO teams.

One of them is Jae-Gyun Hwang, who has been back and forth between the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats and the Giants this season. He has embraced meditation and is a fan of Shawn Green's book, "The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph. Thames has more of a line-drive swing than loft power. Signed thru 2020, 1 yr/$4M (20) & 21 mutual option, Service Time (01/2020): 4.063 Another former KBO player who has yet to unveil his potential stateside is ByungHo Park, who signed a four-year, $12 million deal with the Twins before the 2016 season. All my friends like, ‘Ahh, I didn’t know.’ It was cool.”.

He started out with a classic: Thames took part of a duo of "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder while in the mask. “Even seeing him back (with the) Lotte Giants, I knew that he had the ability to play in MLB.”, MORE: Joey Votto is quietly having a Hall of Fame career. With Gerardo Parra, the face of that clubhouse personality, having departed for Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, there’s an opening for a player such as Thames to inject the energy into the clubhouse that it rallied around last season. Eric Thames. Nobody can see you, but when the mask is off it’s like all right, just let it all hang out there.”. — Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) October 17, 2017.
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But while Thames has enjoyed his success in MLB, his mind frequently returns to his adoptive land. "You have an element that's going to be skeptical," the executive said. "They told us they were interested because, 'He's a comic book hero with a prep school education.'". Eric Thames misses Korea. So it should come as no surprise that the left-handed slugger once emerged as a surprise contestant on the South Korean equivalent of “The Masked Singer” after spending three years in the Korea Baseball Organization. After a slow start and an injury to the season in the Triple-A, Park has hit .311/.370/.522 with five home runs in 25 games since the All-Star break. But his natural curiosity prompted him to keep an open mind. Thames now joins a Nationals roster that rode an exuberant clubhouse culture all the way to a World Series title. By now we all know the Eric Thames story. However, the heater grades out as average in MLB, but scouts feel that his breaking ball will work well against MLB hitters. The popular belief is that, in MLB, Kim would be better served as a reliever with his two-pitch combo. He planned to go to Korea for a year, then return stateside. But you have to ask yourself, 'Is this guy a late bloomer?

Like, if you’re in an organization where you’re buried but you want to play someplace else just like Korea, you can showcase your talent there and come back — come back and do your best to find an organization that pushes you a little bit.”. While Thames doesn’t expect to be singing his way into endearing himself to his teammates, he looks back on his performance as a fun experience. Many historical player head shots courtesy of David Davis. “It’s another tough situation,” Thames said.

Positions: First Baseman and Outfielder Bats: Left • Throws: Right 5-11, 235lb (180cm, 106kg) . He received some attention in the U.S. media back in 2014 when Jon Heyman wrote about Choi at CBS Sports, dubbing him the “Korean David Wright.”. But what the analytics don’t cover is how a player will actually make the adjustment. Question, Comment, Feedback, or Correction? Thanks to Thames and other former KBO players who have advanced to MLB — Jung-Ho Kang, Seung-Hwan Oh, Hyun Soo Kim, for instance — there is higher interest in KBO talents than ever. Or write about sports? The primary name on MLB's Korea radar has California roots, an outsized personality and enough of a mystery factor to suggest he could be a wild card in this winter's free-agent market. He is set to be back for the 2018 season but will remain in Korea for at least three more seasons. I think somebody is going to bite, and he'll get a contract for two years and $12 million, or three years and $15-18 million.

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